SOAX Review

Residential and mobile proxies that put you in control. 

SOAX’s proxies work well and offer very flexible management options.

Rating 8.9 / 10

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I remember first testing SOAX in 2021. Still a very fresh provider, it already looked promising: the proxies rarely failed, offered flexible filtering options, and had decent management tools. Though painfully slow and still unfinished, the overall service was good enough for SOAX to become our Discovery of the Year.

Now, SOAX can no longer be called a newbie. Its set of features is still unique for the price, granting the provider our Best Starter Package award in 2022. But has SOAX fixed its flaws? And has it grown strong enough to compete with the market leaders: Oxylabs, Bright Data, and Smartproxy?

Let’s find out.

General Information

CountryUnited Kingdom
Founded2019
Proxy networksResidential

Mobile

Web scrapers
Price rangeMid-range
Starting price$99
Pricing modelSubscription
Payment methodsCredit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, cryptocurrencies
Trial3 days & 100MB for $1.99

SOAX is one of the newer residential and mobile proxy providers. It’s a UK-based company established in 2019 and run by an international staff. 

The company positions itself somewhere in-between penny-pinching services with limited features and enterprise-facing behemoths like Bright Data or Oxylabs. In other words, its pricing plans and use cases fish for small to medium businesses, similarly to, say, Smartproxy

SOAX invests a lot into getting your eyeballs. You can find it on most review platforms like TrustPilot, G2, or Capterra, tech websites like Trustpilot, and even Sourceforge! At one point, the provider used questionable growth hack tactics, such as spamming its website with thin Google-oriented pages; but that remains in the past. 

The SOAX of today looks solid. It has ethical guidelines, partners up with The World Ethical Data Forum, and requires your ID to provide services. (You can read or watch our interview on ethics with Stepan, SOAX’s CEO.) And while SOAX doesn’t disclose any concrete sources for its proxies, we know that it offers an SDK for developers to monetize their apps, such as free VPNs.

Residential Proxies

Residential proxies are SOAX’s main and more affordable service. It consists of around 5 million monthly addresses from various countries around the world.

Features

A competent package with very generous location targeting options. 

IPs: 5 million

Locations: 150+ countries

Filtering: Country, state, city, ASN

Rotation: 90-600 seconds, as long as available

Format: Gateway address

Concurrency: 300-600 ports, plan based

Protocols: HTTP(S) over SOCKS5

Authentication: Credentials, IP whitelisting

The residential proxies cover most countries in the world. You might have trouble reaching remoter African locations, but the network has grown strong enough to provide an acceptable number of IPs nearly everywhere. You can check their coverage with available ASNs using a map on SOAX’s dashboard. 

The targeting options are very generous: they include not only countries, but also particular cities and even internet service providers (ASNs). Few providers offer ASN targeting, and when they do, it significantly impacts the price. 

The IPs inevitably rotate. You can opt to rotate them organically – that is, keep an IP address for as long as it’s online – or force rotation after some time. The rotation options range from 90 to 600 seconds, and you can specify a custom duration. This level of control you get is pretty amazing. 

If a 90 second rotation is too long for you (and it is pretty long for tasks like web scraping), there’s an option to unlock faster rotation intervals. However, this is considered a premium feature, and enabling it costs extra. 

Though advertised as unlimited, the proxies do have some limits, specifically concerning parallel requests. A basic plan gets you 300 ports (IPs you can access at the same time), and you’re advised not to go over 30 concurrent connections on each. Advanced packages increase the number.

SOAX’s residential proxies support HTTP(S) and SOCKS5 protocols. However, you can only use them to access website traffic through ports 80 and 443. So there’s not much difference between the two out of the box. You can get more ports open if your use case adheres to SOAX’s terms of use.  

Both user:pass and whitelisted IP authentication are available. But to enable the former, you still have to whitelist an IP address first. Two IP slots are given for free; additional slots can be bought for an extra fee.

Pricing Plans

Middle-of-the-pack prices eyeing small to medium businesses.

Format: Subscription

Model: Traffic + ports

Starting price: $99 for 8 GB & 300 ports 

Trial: 100 MB for $1.99

SOAX offers monthly plans based on traffic. Unlike most competitors, it also factors in the number of ports you can access at once. This, together with no rotation on every request, makes SOAX somewhat limited, but only if you scrape at a very fast pace. 

The plans start at $99. For this price, you get 8 GB of data ($12/GB) and 300 ports at your disposal. The plans on display lead up to $700 for 100 GB ($7/GB) and 600 ports. If you want more data, or more ports, you’ll be asked to talk with SOAX’s staff for a custom quote. Naturally, buying in larger amounts will further reduce the price per gigabyte.

soax residential proxy plans

SOAX residential proxy plans.

​​Aside from the price on display, you can get various small upgrades that are hard to notice until you look. Some I’ve already mentioned like faster rotation intervals and more whitelisted IPs. I wonder what else we’ve missed.

To put things into context, SOAX costs less than the big fish like GeoSurf or Bright Data, but I wouldn’t call these proxies cheap. If you’re a small to medium business (SOAX’s target audience), they stand somewhere in the middle of the pricing range.   

Performance Benchmarks

Top tier performance. 

We last tested SOAX’s residential proxies in October 2022.

Our first test benchmarked SOAX’s infrastructure. We ran 20,000-40,000 connection requests per day on a high rotation setting for 6 days. Our target was Cloudflare’s Trace tool, which connects to the nearest Cloudflare data center and doesn’t block requests.

GatewayConnection requestsSuccess
rate
Avg. response timeUnique
IPs
Unique
%
Random239,32998.87%1.19 s202,55285.60%
US119,89099.20%1.18 s35,36829.74%
UK119,87499.58%0.61 s25,40821.28%
Germany119,87599.55%0.84 s34,98429.32%
France119,87698.85%0.81 s62,62152.85%
Russia119,88499.52%0.96 s92,96777.92%
Canada119,88797.94%0.95 s23,33919.88%
Australia119,90298.90%1.48 s7,3626.21%

The results were great. The connection requests we made nearly always reached their target, and SOAX’s response time was below one second in all European locations. To give you some context, in early 2022 this same proxy network was several times slower. Now, it has almost caught up to the top residential proxy providers like Oxylabs and Bright Data.

Here’s how SOAX compares to others:

Furthermore, SOAX’s residential proxy network has grown to be quite large. Throughout the six days of testing, we received over 20,000 unique IPs in most locations, and over 7,000 unique proxies in Australia. This is another area where SOAX has made significant improvements compared to early 2022 (where we ran more requests for longer yet received fewer IPs).

Our second test benchmarked SOAX’s success rate when accessing popular websites. We made 1,000 connection requests for each target using US proxies.

WebsiteAvg. success rateAvg. response time
AliExpress99.00%2.38 s
Amazon85.23%3.24 s
Bing99.00%1.83 s
Booking98.37%3.32 s
Craigslist98.89%1.59 s
Facebook99.40%1.71 s
Google98.93%2.43 s
Instagram98.53%2.13 s
Walmart97.67%2.60 s
Total97.23%2.36 s

Once again, the results were stellar. We experienced very few connection errors, even when accessing hard targets like Google. Amazon was the only website that made SOAX’s residential proxies break a sweat.

Mobile Proxies

Mobile proxies are SOAX’s more expensive service for targets that regular residential IPs can’t crack. It’s one of the few peer-to-peer-based mobile proxy networks in the market. SOAX claims to control around 3.5 million monthly IPs.

Features

Generous filtering options.

IPs: 3.5 million

Locations: 150+

Filtering: Country, state, city, ASN

Rotation: 90-600 seconds, as long as available

Format: Gateway address

Concurrency: 300-600 ports, plan based

Protocols: HTTP(S) over SOCKS5

Authentication: Credentials, IP whitelisting

SOAX has a unified system for its mobile and residential IPs, so they’re identical in terms of features. This means you get the same granular targeting options (including city and ASN), as well as flexible rotation settings that have everything but rotation on every connection request.

The number of ports is limited, but it’s hardly an issue for mobile proxies, which are often used in a more reserved fashion compared to other proxy types.

Once again: if you care about the SOCKS5 protocol, note that it has very few ports open by default. It’s a good idea to ask SOAX if it’s possible to enable the ones you need before purchase.

Pricing Plans

Decent rates based on your traffic expenditure. 

Format: Subscription

Model: Traffic + ports

Starting price: $99 for 8 GB & 300 ports 

Trial: 100 MB for $1.99

SOAX’s mobile profiles run on a subscription model that automatically renews every month until you cancel it. As it’s a peer-to-peer network, the main criterion is traffic use. SOAX also factors in ports – their number increases as you scale up.

The cheapest mobile plan costs $99, or the same amount as access to SOAX’s residential proxies. However, this will only get you 3 gigabytes of traffic at $33/GB. The largest plan on display costs $700, decreasing the unit price to $26/GB.

soax mobile proxy plans

SOAX mobile proxy plans.

In a broader context, SOAX’s pricing is expensive but fares well against direct competitors. The mobile proxies are cheaper compared to premium providers like Oxylabs and Bright Data, and they cost not much more than mid-range services like ProxyEmpire.

Performance Benchmarks

Slow but otherwise well performing proxies. 

We last tested SOAX’s mobile proxies for 2022’s Proxy Market Research.

Our first test benchmarked SOAX’s infrastructure. We made 50,000-150,000 connection requests over 7-14 days, running the proxy server on a high rotation setting for. Our target was Cloudflare’s Trace tool, which connects to the nearest Cloudflare data center and doesn’t block requests.

GatewayConnection requestsSuccess
rate
Avg. response timeUnique
IPs
Unique
%
Random150,00098.86%4.04 s92,78562.57%
US150,00099.22%3.52 s13,8899.33%
UK150,00098.84%3.33 s7,0334.84%
Germany150,00099.11%3.20 s10,3106.94%
France150,00099.07%3.31 s8,5265.74%
Russia150,00099.36%2.87 s51,82934.78%
Canada50,00099.04%2.96 s8281.67%
Australia50,00099.05%2.97 s5651.14%

SOAX’s mobile proxies had a nearly perfect success rate, proving that the provider’s infrastructure works well. However, their response time was pretty slow across the board; the random gateway test shows that some locations connected even slower than the ~3 second average for the countries we targeted.

To give you some context, Bright Data connected 1.5 times as fast, and Oxylabs was more than twice faster:

While not huge, SOAX’s proxy network was respectably large for serious work in popular locations. With nearly 14,000 unique IPs in the US, it even managed to beat Bright Data, which could only muster ~5,300 during the same period. You’ll have the best experience in Eastern Europe, where SOAX has the largest presence.

Our second test benchmarked SOAX’s success rate when accessing popular websites. We made 1,000 connection requests for each target using US proxies.

WebsiteAvg. success rateAvg. response time
AliExpress96.74%4.54 s
Amazon91.75%5.92 s
Bing96.34%4.50 s
Booking95.22%6.03 s
Craigslist96.96%5.11 s
Facebook95.76%4.98 s
Google96.07%4.55 s
Instagram96.03%5.04 s
Walmart97.27%4.60 s
Yahoo96.25%4.39 s
Total95.75%4.95 s

The results were solid across the board, even if not very fast.

How to Use SOAX

The dashboard delights but the user experience isn’t perfect. 

Registration

To register with SOAX, you have to fill in a form with basic information and your use case, then confirm the registration via an email. 

SOAX also requires undergoing a KYC check when you buy a plan, which involves sending your photo ID to a third-party service.  

Dashboard

SOAX’s dashboard is an elegant control panel that evidently received a lot of love from the creators. The dashboard covers all the basics one could expect: you can authenticate, set up a proxy server, buy a plan, read the help docs, and get support.

soax dashboard main screen

The dashboard’s main screen.

We especially liked the Online Check tab. It shows not only now many ASNs are online in each country but also their connection status. That’s not something we encounter often.

soax dashboard online checker

The checker shows both coverage and connection quality.

Another thing we need to emphasize is how attentive SOAX is to new users. Multiple tabs in the dashboard have interactive onboarding wizards that guide you through the hoops of getting accustomed with the service. The Intercom-based chat also attempts to settle you in via a drip message campaign, though we’re not sure if we like this part. Flashbacks to misuse from other websites.

soax dashboard wizard

The onboarding wizard appears in most pages of the dashboard.

Subscription Management

SOAX offers self-service for its proxy networks – it’s possible to buy a plan by yourself. This doesn’t apply to cryptocurrency payments, which require contacting support.

SOAX’s dashboard includes wallet functionality, so you can top up the account in advance to prevent charging your card multiple times. This is useful when you want to top up your traffic without getting a new plan. Just be aware that this process is manual, so your access can still be suspended if you’re not careful. 

The dashboard has a separate tab for seeing your balance, transaction history, and downloading invoices.  

Proxy Management

The proxy setup ritual here is pretty elaborate. Even though you can authorize using a username and password, you’ll still have to whitelist an IP address first. Team SOAX argue that this is to protect themselves and their users. We argue that they don’t like resellers. In any case, keep this in mind, even if SOAX mentions a workaround for people with dynamic IPs.

After whitelisting an IP address, you can set up a proxy server. There are two ways to do so: via the Login & Password flow or the IP Whitelist flow. In any case, you’ll have to choose a rotation time, specify the location and/or ISP, and then map them to the ports you have.

For example, with an allowance of 100 ports, we assigned ports 10060-10070 to Spain and 10040-10049 to the UK. Note that IP address settings override Login & Password, and the provider advises against using both at once.

soax dashboard proxy setup flow

The two ways to set up a proxy server on SOAX.

You can also create a list of proxies and export it into a text file:

soax dashboard proxy export

There are multiple options to choose from.

Finally, SOAX offers an API. It’s pretty basic and nothing to write home about. Perhaps acknowledging this, the provider has it disabled until you explicitly request access. According to the help docs, the API’s functions are limited to fetching lists of locations and ISPs. So, don’t expect too much from it.

Usage Tracking

One aspect that could be improved is visualization of data use. The provided graph is small and stingy. You can see how much traffic you’ve expended over a given period, but that’s pretty much it. SOAX could learn a thing or two in this regard, even if there’s no need to go all out like providers such as NetNut have.

soax dashboard data graph

This is the only graph for data visualization.

Documentation

SOAX has a documentation hub covering various aspects of its service. It includes:

  • an FAQ,
  • quick-start guide,
  • proxy setup instructions,
  • billing information,
  • API documentation,
  • integration tutorials, and
  • video guides.

The hub is pretty comprehensive: there are 38 different integration guides, some of which provide instructions for multiple tools. However, it still feels clumsy at times, especially when it comes to API documentation or integrations with programming languages.

That aside, documentation is an area where SOAX has improved noticeably since we first tested the provider.

Hands-On Support

You can contact SOAX’s support via live chat, email, phone, or Telegram. The provider also specifies tickets in the SLA but selecting the Support tab in the dashboard simply activates the live chat. 

We contacted the support multiple times using the live chat functionality. The replies came quickly (one exception aside, within five minutes) and managed to answer our questions. All in all, SOAX’s support left us with a positive impression, at least during daytime in Europe.

Conclusion

In just a few years, SOAX has grown into a competent proxy provider and a strong competitor to most mid-range and premium services. While not without flaws, it keeps the qualities that made it special, while significantly improving on the weaknesses. At this point, SOAX is a well-rounded option for anyone that needs residential or mobile proxies.

SOAX Alternatives

9.2

Smartproxy

Smartproxy is the first place to go if SOAX is not an option for you. It offers similar performance, great user experience, proxy-based tools and more features.

9.1

Bright Data

Bright Data is one of the biggest player in the premium space. It offers even more features, some powerful proxy management tools, and complete pre-scraped data sets.

9.3

Oxylabs

Oxylabs is like a premium version of SOAX. It controls a significantly larger IP pool, and you can get specialized APIs that simplify web scraping.

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